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Title: State policy and law in relation to land alienation in Ethiopia
Author: Srur, Muradu A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 1340
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis examines the nature and mechanisms of land alienation in the context of Ethiopia's history of land relations and the role of national and global actors. In consideration of these themes, the study has adopted a contextual analysis of law and policy. Data from fieldwork has informed the core themes. It has also involved a combination of doctrinal legal research and documentary policy research augmented by quantitative data. The research considers issues of land alienation in the situation where the main relevant perspectives argue for the abolition of the people's ownership of land approach embodied in the country's 1995 Constitution and its replacement by private ownership of land (privatization perspective) or for its modification to allow alienation of land use rights (revisionist perspective) or for its change into village ownership of land with a possibility of market transfer of land use rights (associative ownership perspective). In addition to their promotion of one or another form of land alienation, the above three perspectives focus on consideration of ways to break the bureaucratic power of the State over land. This study contends that a focus on these issues has prevented the perspectives from fully identifying and thus explaining features of the ongoing land alienation in Ethiopia including the position of international institutions. This thesis therefore claims that there is an underlying shift towards marketable property in land in favor of actors who are assumed to be 'better land improvers. This is happening in a dual context of significant land poverty and economic growth.' Land alienation is being manifested in rural land expropriation laws, administrative and judicial endorsement of kontract, absence of recognition of communal lands and transfer by the State of the communal rural lands to large-scale farmers through the deployment of discourses such as 'empty land' and the 'tragedy of the commons.' This gravitation clashes with the people's ownership of land approach that provides for agricultural land for peasants and pastoralists, security of their landholdings and a ban on land alienation. The tilt has resulted in another tension between federal and regional governments where the Centre claims that efficiency demands that it handle land transfers to developers whereas the regions assert their constitutional power over land. Similarly, global institutions are involved in a contradiction because they prescribe land rights to the poor as a strategy to reduce poverty in Ethiopia and at the same time they encourage large-scale land grants in accordance with `principles of responsible agricultural investment.' The thesis proposes an affirmation of the constitutional principles concerning land with a proper form of constitutionality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Government of Ethiopia ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: KN Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica